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Jan 8, 2012

AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 Confirmed for January 9

Consumer Electronics Show, next week, in Las Vegas. Although the trade fair will kick off on January 10, it appears that Nokia and AT&T plan to announce the smartphone one day ahead of CES 2012.

According to NYTimes citing two reliable sources close to the matter, Nokia and AT&T will announced the Nokia Lumia 900 on Monday, January 9.

The device will probably go by a different name, as Nokia Ace and will be delivered with full LTE support.

No word on the phone's pricing options yet, but there's a high chance this one will go for around $300 with a new two-year agreement.

Even though the Lumia 900 was rumored to run Windows Phone Tango, the latest hearsay confirm that the smartphone will be powered by Windows Phone 7.5 Mango after all.

AMD Trinity Die Shot Revealed, Presumably Measures 240mm2

In the first half of this year, AMD is expected to unveil its next-gen APUs based on the Trinity architecture and recently a die shot of such a chip was published on the Web revealing some new details about AMD’s upcoming creation.

On a first look, the die itself looks to be extremely different from that of Llano and one of the most obvious changes is that the chip doesn’t used quad Stars processing cores as its predecessor, but rather two AMD Bulldozer modules packing four Piledriver cores.

These are placed in the left part of the die and above them stand 4MB of L2 cache (2MB for each module) as well as a dual-channel DDR3 memory controller supporting memory speeds up to 2133MHz.

The PCI Express controller is placed at the bottom of the chip and seems to support the same number of PCIe channels as Llano, while between the two Bulldozer modules stands the hardware logic that would have traditionally made out the North Bridge.

Taking a look at the right part of the die, we get to see Trinity’s integrated graphics core.

Although no details are provided, from the look of it the built-in GPU seem to be packing 6 VLIW4 shader clusters for a total of 384 Radeon cores.

While the shader count is smaller than that of Llano (384 vs 400), the VLIW4 architecture used by Trinity is more efficient than the previous VLIW5 design utilized in the Llano arch.

The clock speeds of the integrated GPUs used for Trinity are also expected to be higher than that of Llano, and AMD estimated that these modifications will make the new chips up to 30% faster when running graphics tasks than their predecessors.

According to SemiAccurate, the whole die area on the Trinity APU will span approximately 240 square mm, which makes it slightly larger than Llano that measures 228 square mm.

ASUS Designs Windows 8 Tablets, ARM Build Mentioned

The report about ASUS and its 3G Transformer Prime tablet held a tidbit of information some may not have been expecting, possibly because it conflicts with statements from another company. 

According to SlashGear, ASUS has 150 people working on a tablet running Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system. 

The report says that ASUS made a mention of a Windows on ARM build. 

This is what makes us wonder just what the company is on about. 

Microsoft said its ARM-compatible Windows 8 build won't be ready before the middle of 2013. 

Thus, ASUS' early mention of a WOA (Windows on ARM) slate sound a bit premature, unless the company is actually making more than one tablet. 

At this point, the company may be designing an x86 Win8 slate while drafting the early plans for an ARM model that won't be out until much later.

Hopefully CES 2012 will bring some clarity.

Windows 8 Comes with Hidden Aero Lite Glass Theme

One of the features that Windows 8 will be able to offer to users that run it on low-end hardware will be an Aero Lite Glass Theme.

The feature is already available in Windows 8 Developer Preview and will make it to Windows 8 Beta too, which means that the final flavor of the platform could sport it as well. 

The theme can be easily enabled by going to Windows \ System32 and launching WindowsAnytimeUpgradeResults.exe (as you can see in the shot attached to this article). Before that, however, you should enable the AeroLite theme.

As soon as you launch the application, the Aero Lite Glass Theme will be applied, WinUnleaked notes in a recent post. Those who did not try Windows 8 yet can download the Developer Preview from this link.

Windows 8 Loaded on AT&T LTE Tablet

It appears that the partnership between AT&T and Microsoft will stretch beyond the release of Windows Phones, and that it will include Windows 8 tablet PCs as well.

At least one such device is planned to arrive in the United States via this wireless carrier. LTE capabilities are also expected to be included into the mix. 

Not to mention that the device will be powered by a Qualcomm SoC, and that AT&T plans on offering details on it just before CES 2012 kicks off next week. 

AT&T plans an event to talk about the tablet PC during its 2012 developer summit: A Metro Style Hemi - Windows 8 tablets super charged with 4G LTE. 

The session will be focused on discussing what the LTE technology has to offer to users, as well as on what Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip can offer in this regard. 

Windows 8 will also be present at the event, and we can assume that AT&T will announce plans on the possible release of a tablet PC powered by Microsoft's new OS. 

Here's what the event's description reads:

Attend this session and see how to transform the higher speed and lower latency of LTE into an amazing user experience. 

First, learn from Qualcomm about the power of their Snapdragon chip, and how developers can tap into the Snapdragon Developer Program to create rich Windows 8 apps that help deliver differentiated consumer experiences that capitalize on LTE's potential. 

Then see how the intuitive elegance of Windows 8's Metro-style application design has been layered over this horsepower. Finally, hear how standalone applications can be transformed on this powerful platform, converting independent programs into streamlined, integrated live tiles. 

Opportunities abound in this session for developers of connected apps; discover how AT&T and Microsoft are working to make developing connected applications easier.

If AT&T and Qualcomm do showcase a Windows 8 tablet at the event, we could see more such devices being detailed during the Consumer Electronics Show that will open its gates in a few days in Las Vegas.

Nikon D800 DSLR Pictured on Company’s Website

Now that the full-frame D4 was officially released by Nikon, everybody’s attention has turned towards the upcoming D800 and this camera was just pictured on one of the company’s local Websites.

Although the resolution of the image provided is lacking, the camera does seem to resemble a great deal the leaked images that made their way to the Web at the end of November 2011.

No specifications accompanied the image provided by Nikon Rumors, but from previous reports we know that the D800 will bring quite a few modifications when compared with the current D700, the most important of which being the addition of a new 36MP full-frame image sensor.

This is seconded by an Expeed 3 image processor, the combo enabling Nikon to offer a 100 to 6,400 ISO range, that can be expanded to 50 – 25,600.

Furthermore, the D800 will use the same 51-point AF system found in the D3s, but this time this will get a new face recognition mode.

The video recording capabilities of the camera were also enhanced to allow for shooting 1080p at 30fps, while for getting 60fps users will have to drop down to a 720p resolution.

Other features that will make their way in the D800 include a 100% coverage viewfinder, dual memory card slots (most probably CompactFlash and SD, but XQD is also a candidate), a built-in GPS and an USB 3.0 data transfer port.

Changes were also made to the body of the D800 as this was designed in order to be both lighter and smaller than the D700, but at the same time it received a larger rear display that is said to measure over 3-inches in diagonal.

No word on availability and pricing just yet, but rumors imply the Nikon D800 will be available in two versions, one of these coming with the antialiasing filter removed.

Nokia Purchases Norway-Based Smarterphone

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has reportedly acquired Oslo, Norway-based Smarterphone, the company that builds an operating system for feature phones. 

The purchased was completed in November 2011, a recent article on Techcrunch notes. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

The company was founded by investment firm Ferd Capital, as well as Innovation Norway, Trolltech Founder, Haavard Nord, and Management Consultant, Lars Øberg. The company was previously known as Kvaleberg AG. 

The company's software was aimed at offering handset vendors the possibility to put smartphone-like looks and capabilities on basic phone models. 

For the time being, it's unclear what Nokia has in store for Smarterphone’s platform. The leading mobile phone maker already uses three platforms for its devices, including S40, Symbian and Windows Phone (though it will drop Symbian in the next few years).

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